EYE Donation Month

Media Outreach for Eye Donation Month


Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA)


The Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA) champions the restoration of sight through core services to its members that advance donation, transplantation, and research in their respective communities and globally.

In 2018, one component of supporting this mission was rebranding Eye Donation Month. Since 1983, when President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Eye Donor Month (NEDM), the eye bank community utilized NEDM to promote cornea donation and transplantation awareness; encourage individuals to register as eye, organ and tissue donors; share stories about donors and their families; and celebrate cornea recipients.

In 2018, EBAA renamed and rebranded NEDM to Eye Donation Month and moved the celebration from March to November.

Gavilan & Associates (G&A), in partnership with Harrison Communications, launched an aggressive media outreach campaign to support new Eye Donation Month.


The G&A team employed a multipronged approach to generate media interest in Eye Donation Month:

  • Launched a Call for Stories, where EBAA members shared stories about individuals who had their sight restored due to a corneal transplant; who had donated their loved ones corneal tissue; who worked for an Eye Bank; or who were healthcare professionals involved in sight restoration.
  • Developed and distributed media materials highlighting some of the stories; facts about corneal transplant; myths versus facts about eye donation; and more.
  • Built a media list and contacted reporters at print, broadcast and online media outlets nationwide.
  • Arranged interviews with individuals and eye bank experts.
  • Empowered EBAA members by providing them with the tools to contact media in their own communities to share their eye donation stories. We provided a free, downloadable Media Outreach Toolkit that included a fact sheet; talking points; tips for media outreach; a customizable Media Advisory; and more.
  • Lead two webinars for EBAA members, sharing tips on reaching reporters; ideas for story angles; and more.


The stories were the key to our media success. The combination of partnering with community eye banks throughout the country to arrange interviews, contacting reporters individually and distributing two media advisories resulted in coverage reaching 11.7 million individuals.